If there is one word that has really grabbed me, one concept, one major national activity that has defined Australia for me since our arrival to this beautiful country in 1990, it has been this one. Reconciliation.
Our first few years were just a blur of getting settled, of course, building a secure home and getting our family of 3 kids settled into schools and other activities. Incredibly, though, It was not until I entered the field of Education and became a teacher that I became more and more aware of this major process between the Australian government and the Australian Indigenous Peoples. Reconciliation.
The more I learn about it the more I realise that reconciliation is one of the bedrocks of the Australian nation and especially so since the famous National ‘Sorry Day’ was established after lengthy activism, petitions and reports were submitted by the Indigenous people.
In 2008, the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, moved a motion of Apology to the Indigenous Australian “Stolen Generation”. Every year since then, 27th May is celebrated in Australia as the National Sorry Day, a day of healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. This date is also the anniversary of the 1967 referendum and the start of National Reconciliation Week.
This week in our Adult English Language classes, the word reconciliation was broken down into the everyday language of use and simple sentences constructed to illustrate the concept.
| Re con ci li a tion (syllables) |
put together that which is separated
put back that which is broken
make up again
I feel bad when I have an argument with my loved ones.
So I try to make up by agreeing to disagree.
Reconciliation is imperative not only on a spectrum of different settings like the rudimentary domestic one sited above, but can also be a long journey, as in the eventual establishment of the National Reconciliation Week of Australia.
Yet the fundamental process remains the same – “the putting / bringing together of parties between whom some form of hurt, violation, brokenness, or separation has occurred”.
Takes me back to how we, as a human race, became separated from the One who created us, and how we were reconciled to Him through the sacrifice He made for us in Jesus Christ on the Cross. The 3 R’s that apply here for us are Recognising our sin that separates us from Him, Repenting and being Restored to Him through salvation. Reconciliation.
This spiritual reconciliation surely is the fundamental emotion and bedrock of our relationship with our Creator God.
Just as Reconciliation on a National level is the bedrock of the relationship between the Australian nation and the Australian Indigenous peoples.
Yes, it is this concept and process of our human lives that has intrigued me from an early age and grabs my attention more and more even to this day.